SCCPSS Recognized for Nutrition Standards
Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools recognized for nutrition standards
West Chatham Elementary School, and Savannah Chatham County Public Schools have been recognized by the Georgia Department of Education for compliance with the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children, according to Lydia Martin, School Nutrition Director for the system. The School Meals Initiative, passed by Congress in 1995, sets prescribed nutrition standards for school meals.
West Chatham Elementary and the elementary cycle menus were recently certified by the Georgia Department of Education for compliance with the School Meals Initiative nutrition standards. “The prescribed standards require that meals comply with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” Ms. Martin said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly establishes the Dietary Guidelines with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). The Dietary Guidelines provide research-based advice for people two years and older about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases.
In addition to limiting total fat as well as saturated fat, Ms. Martin said the regulations require that, over a school week, lunch provides students with one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium, which are key nutrients for growth and development. Breakfast is required to provide one-fourth of the RDA over the school week.
“Complying with the School Meals Initiative has meant using standardized recipes and serving uniform portions so that the nutrients in meals can be accurately determined. It has also meant adjusting our purchasing to limit or eliminate high fat items and include more breads, grains, vegetables and fruits in our menus,” Ms. Martin said.